At the time of his arrest the subject had just delivered a detailed surveillance report
by CYRUS OMBATI
Security agencies are holding a man who is a resident of Bura East Sub-County in Tana River County for allegedly providing sensitive information to Al Shabaab in order to facilitate their terror operations in the North Eastern Region (NER), Tana River and Lamu Counties.
Mustafa Khalib Muhumed’s arrest comes hot on the heels of police reports and investigations that he has over time been supplying the Somalia based al-Shabaab terror group with information and in return receiving payments for the services.
According to police, at the time of his arrest the subject had just delivered a detailed surveillance report about a security installation for attack.
Place said he had detailed to his handlers in Somalia the routes used by security personnel from the camp, had provided a map of the areas adjoining the camp and provided probable escape routes to be used by the militants who would execute the attack against the security camp.
“He had also been tasked to report on security operations in North Eastern and Lamu County in order to facilitate al-Shabaab Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks and ambushes against Kenya’s security personnel,” said a police report.
His most crucial task was to spy on the LAPPSET project one of Kenya’s key ongoing infrastructure development program for possible attacks by the Somalia based militants with the aim of sabotaging the progress/completion of the multimillion dollar endeavor, which is set to open the region and connect several countries in the horn of Africa.
According to police he had mapped the progress of the project, the contractors/labourers working on the project, the sites where material/equipment of the project were stored and the military/security installations/personnel guarding the project.
The suspect was also following up on the movement of political leaders for possible kidnapping and ransom missions to bolster the terror group’s financial base.
At the time of his arrest Muhumed was also found to be in possession of spying glasses and cameras that he was using to gather data on possible targets.
Police said he was also found with violent extremism content and material, which he propagated to unsuspecting youth on online platforms to lure them into joining terrorist groups.
“It was also established that Muhumed had recruited a vast network of witting and unwitting participants to help him meet the numerous demands from his terrorist handlers whom the Police are also currently pursing.”
Further, according to police report, he is believed to have provided al-Shabaab with information that assisted the terror group to carry out attacks at LAPSSET construction site at Kwa Omollo where a lorry, three motorbikes were burnt and seven civilians killed on March 11, 2022.
Police say his information was also used by the terror group to carry out simultaneously attacks on a security camp at Hayley LAPSSET corridor and a vehicle ferrying contractors from Garissa to Hayley in Garissa on June 1, 2022.
Police have also linked him to the burning of five tipper lorries and a mixing machine belonging to China Construction and Communication Company used in the construction of LAPPSET Corridor road to Garissa at Kwa-Omollo in Bodhei junction Lamu County on January 23, 2022.
To cement his cover and grow his network to meet the demands of his terror masters he worked in community programs while identifying local youth for recruitment, police say.
He also worked in a bus company to further familiarize himself with the lay of the land and reported back to Somalia on the areas he had mapped.
His Somalia handlers paid him a monthly stipend to facilitate his activities in the country and had promised him a lucrative position within the ranks and files of al- Shabaab and attendant benefits should his casing missions culminate into a decisive and high profile attack against a target of key interest to Kenya.
He was first presented before at Kahawa Law Courts before Chief Magistrate Diana Mochache and was given 10 days in custody which lapsed on November 17.
He was presented once more at the court on November 17 where a further 5 days were granted to the prosecution team.
His next day of appearance will be on November 22.
The region has suffered a series of attacks by the terrorists over years. Police believe the arrest may send a warning and deter the trend.
According to police, the suspect’s journey into terrorism began when Muhumed was arrested in 2005 for his involvement in violent criminal activities and was subsequently incarcerated at the Kamiti Maximum prison where he interacted with radical elements and recruited into al-Shabaab.
He is currently works for Garissa County Government and has previously worked with Womankind, a NGO as a paralegal officer.
Source: The Star